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Family Safe After Catamaran Strikes Reef

July 26, 2007 — A Florida family of 13 escaped injury Thursday when their chartered catamaran, Alyeska, hit a reef just off Moorehead Point, located near Enighed Pond on St. John.
"The put a hole in the port pontoon and started to sink," said Bob Malacarne of St. John Rescue.
The accident happened around 3 p.m. The boat had 200 gallons of diesel fuel on board, which was leaking into the water, Malacarne said. The Planning and Natural Resources Department put out booms to contain the spill, he said.
The boat, a Moorings 474 PC, was chartered from the Tortola-based Moorings charter boat company and had a Moorings captain aboard, Malacarne said. He declined to name the family members, but said they ranged in age from six to the mid 70s. They were on the last full day of their vacation and were scheduled to fly home Friday after a week sailing around the region.
The father of the group deployed the dinghy so some of the members could reach safety. A nearby catamaran took the rest of the family members ashore, Malacarne said.
The barge Mr. B was in the area. The barge crew towed the Aleyska to the barge ramp.
The U.S. Coast Guard and the Moorings had been notified of the accident, Malacarne said, but at 6:30 p.m. neither was on the scene. St. John Rescue deployed its boat, Marine One, to the scene, he said.
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